Dogs love to explore the world with their noses and mouths and, just like young children, they have a tendency to pick things up and chew them.
As well as their chew toys and sticks you may see your dog chewing on rocks and, like many dog owners may wonder, why is my dog eating stones?
Most dogs will, at some point eat stones and, surprisingly it’s quite common. Normally dogs eat and chew on stones out of boredom or curiosity rather than as a choice of food and this can be prevented by giving the dog other options to occupy him or by increasing his activity levels with more walks and some basic training.
What happens if a dog eats stones?
If your dog eats a stone or stones then you should monitor his condition carefully and consider taking him to the vets.
Small stones may pass through your dog’s system easily and be discharged when he goes to the toilet but there is no way to be sure that this will happen.
Larger stones could become stuck inside your dog and could cause a serious blockage either in his throat after he swallows them or further on in his intestines.
It is always advisable to speak with your vet if you notice that your dog has swallowed a stone or if you suspect that he has.
How do I get my dog to stop eating stones?
Stone eating is often more behavioural than dietary and a bored dog is more likely to chew on stones or eat them.
The easiest way to stop your dog from eating stones is to prevent him from having access to them unsupervised or to avoid areas where he can pick them up. This is however, clearly not an easy thing to do as there are normally stones everywhere.
Give your dog something different to occupy his mind and there are various things that you can do to take his mind off stones:
Go for longer walks and take him to new places where he can explore smells and the environment.
Get some interesting toys for him such as these on Amazon
Play some games such as ‘fetch’
Do some training with him to stretch his mind
If he shows interest in stones then distract him with an activity that he enjoys
Tell him to ‘leave it’ and encourage him away from the stone, give him lots of praise or an edible reward when he responds properly
What to do if your dog eats stones
If you discover that your dog has swallowed a stone then you really should consult your vet who will be able to undertake an examination of your dog.
In many cases it is likely that the passage of time will result in the passage of the stone but you should always be guided by the qualified advice of your vet.
How long does it take for a dog to pass a stone?
It will generally take 12 to 24 hours for your dog to pass a stone that he has eaten although, if the stone is large he may not be able to do this easily or without the help of your vet.
Feeding a bulky and dry meal can help to cushion stones and assist your dog’s system to push them out. Food will also help to trigger your dog’s digestive juices which will help with lubrication and ease the process.
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Dogs are not supposed to eat stones but, like most animals, they explore the world via their mouths and stones can end up being eaten.
As is the case with all things concerning your dog’s health and well being, you should always consult your vet if you have any concerns or need qualified and professional advice and guidance.
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Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API